Monday, March 31, 2008

New Friends, Old Friends

Yesterday, we went on a 10 mile run of the Mt. Zion loop, starting and ending from Chantry Flats. It was so much fun running with a bunch of people from the Arroyo Trail Blazers. An old friend, Laura, came up from San Diego to visit, it was great to see her. And we meet a new friend, Dan. Dan is super fast. Good to meet you, Dan!

It was drizzling when we meet at Grandview and Santa Anita. We decided that we were not going to let a little rain spoil our fun, so we proceeded up to Chantry Flats. As we came up to the parking lot, it started raining much harder. But we were determined to run, rain or shine. What a hard core group of poeple. I changed from shorts to tights and donned arm warmers and gloves, as it was also getting colder.

We set off in the rain. However, as we climbed, we got above the moisture layer for a few miles. It was gorgeous looking down at the mist and looking up at the blue sky trying to come out. It was freezing at the summit of Mt. Zion. Dan was running in front, with me a few steps behind, for almost the whole way up. It was good to have someone pushing the pace, as I run alone most of the time.

Laura and Dan are not frequently runners in these parts of the forest, so they got to see some of our local trails. Laura is the super fit duathlete (cycling and running). She is going to race at the World Championships this year. Dan places top three in his age group in most of the races he enters. He has done numerous 50k's, a few 50 milers, and paced at AC100 last year.

Dan and I lead the way going off Mt. Zion, we flew down those trails. Then, four of us, Dan, me, Antonio, and Laura, attacked the paved hill at the end of the run. I started the hill with an easy pace, for I knew the hill was half a mile and pitched up right at the end. Then Dan took over the lead, with Antonio and Laura in tow. I kept my pace and then slowly reeled in Antonio and then Laura. I got to within 50 feet of Dan, but was never able to catch him. It was fun. A little friendly competition never hurts.

We swapped our wet clothing at the car with dry ones and then went out to breakfast. What a great way to end a great run, with hot food, coffee, and friends.

Happy trails!

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